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Fall of Troy, The: In the Unlikely Event

The Fall of Troy are a band with enormous ambition. They envisage a time when art is brought back into the mainstream of popular culture by forward thinking creative minds everywhere, and they want to be a part of it with their frenetic high-pitched brand of music probably described as mathcore or post-hardcore by genre buffs. But lofty words and portents of influence are one thing; does In The Unlikely Event match the ambition, or even their previous works?

At their best, They remain a very inventive act marrying aggressive (some might say angst ridden) instrumentation and experimentation with the restraint required to give the numbers a snappy pop sensibility. Razor sharp riffs joust with cascading runs, all atop a frenetic rhythm section.

Relatively conventional song structures are established, before sometimes being scrapped mid song for alternative ideas, or morphing into instrumental closing sections. Here lies a problem though, as the main bodies of most of the songs, whatever genre they allude to, are at least initially relatively predictable and uninspired. This is further exacerbated by the Thomas Erak's voice, which does slip into a whining tone at times all of which can create a slightly grating adolescent twang to proceedings. It all sounds a little like a solipsistic youth, so wrapped up in a sense of their own profundity that they don't realise how dull they can be.

When the band do choose to tear up what has gone before and go off on a tangent, they can be a revelation. The playing is brilliant, the ideas flow the music is at times engaging and indisputably interesting (although at times it does feel disjointed and forced). All of this leaves the odd situation where many songs are a Jekyll and Hyde of the inane and the masterful, with the end of the songs generally being far more interesting than the beginning.

Four albums into their career, The Fall of Troy sound a little confused about who they want to be. In the Unlikely Event has moments that underline their ability, but others that do keep the album from being consistently enjoyable. They are right to have high ambitions, but they have inadvertently taken a step backwards with this release.

Track Listing
01. Panic Attack!
02. Straight-Jacket Keelhauled
03. Battleship Graveyard
04. A Classic Case of Transference
05. Single
06. Empty the Clip, the King Has Been Slain, Long Live the Queen!
07. People and Their Lives
08. Dirty Pillow Talk
09. Nobody's Perfect
10. Webs
11. Walk of Fame
12. Nature Vs. Nurture

Added: October 14th 2009
Reviewer: Richard Wheelhouse
Related Link: Band's MySpace
Hits: 1869
Language: english

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Fall of Troy, The: In the Unlikely Event
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2009-10-14 15:47:45
My Score:

In the Unlikely Event, the latest release from Washington's The Fall of Troy has a lot going for it. For one, it was produced by the famed Terry Date, who has worked with a slew of popular acts over the years. Second, this release sees a hefty increase in the musicianship department. Expect plenty of acrobatic arranngements here, especially from guitarist Thomas Erak, who lays down a wide variety of sizzling, complex leads and rhythms throughout this album, mingling quite nicely with the intense rhythms from drummer Andrew Forsman and bassist Frank Ene. Tunes like "Straight Jacket Keelhauled", "Panic Attack", and "The Battleship Graveyard"are all intricate math-metal workouts, more than a bit influenced by the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan, Protest the Hero, Between the Buried and Me, and Mastodon, combining a slew of stop/start passages, heavy riffs, and a mix of screams and clean vocals. All very impressive.

However, it's when the band's emo/alternative/punk/pop tendencies come to the forefront, as they do on "A Classic Case of Transference", "Single", "Empty the Clip, The King Has Been Slain, Long Live the Queen", and "People and Their Lives", that things start to fall apart. Erak's clean vocals are fine, but he comes across as a bit sappy at times, even watering down the musical arrangements that want to hit hard, but thanks to the vocals sink to generic pop levels. His crooning on "Webs" just flat out doesn't work, but thankfully he mixes it up on the heavy "Walk of Fame" and maniacal "Dirty Pillow Talk" to redeem himself a bit.

All told, In the Ulikely Event isn't a bad release. On the contrary, there's plenty of fine moments here, but I think the band seems to have a bit of an identity crisis. On one hand, they have shown that they can be a force to be reckoned with as a math/metal/prog act, yet as a pop/punk/emo band, they sound like everyone else and fall flat. Hopefully they can get their act together and figure it all out for their next one.

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